Philippa Blair featured in Otago Daily Times

It has been about 30 years since Philippa Blair exhibited her work in Dunedin and she had been looking forward to revisiting the city of her forebears until the latest Covid- 19 outbreak. From her bubble in Auckland she talks to  Rebecca Fox about her much anticipated return to the South.

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‘I work a lot from my memory, from different languages and music. I think your relationship to the world is about being sensitive to everything, which is exhausting.’’

Creating her works, which are often mixed media, is a bit like composing or poetry but ‘‘it’s certainly not being a politician’’.

‘‘I couldn’t say in a paragraph where the ideas come from.’’

In a way she does not want to as that could prevent viewers from making their own interpretation of her works, she says.

‘‘That’s what the abstract quality is and figurative. They’re not cut and dried in how they should be interpreted – it’s quite a democratic process.’’

Each work requires much preparation as first she draws her ideas – ‘‘not the way I was traditionally taught in art school’’. Her paintings then follow smoothly.

‘‘My work is about exploring different territories – I’m a curious cat.’’

She paints from above with her canvas on the floor calling it ‘‘aerial vision’’.

‘‘I look at it like an orchestration. I like to work in two dimensions or three dimensions. I like to paint a similar way to how I draw.’’